Dáil reform the starting point

Off the fence
Dáil reform the starting point


Off the fence
Tom Flynn


Aftershock, the much hyped TV programme looking at our ghost estates and where our country economically is at, in my opinion, failed to shed any new light on our national circumstances. Rather, what the viewer was treated to was yet another platform for opinion writers, not informers.
Articulate in delivery of their respective viewpoints they failed to appreciate that very human weakness namely ‘Greed’. Greed, across all sectors of society has brought our economy to where it is currently. Yes some bad decisions were made at executive level from which we as a country made short term gains for long term losses.
Abandoning our Constitution as advocated by Justine McCarthy and Dan O’Brien to a lesser extent in favour of something simpler to meet the requirements of contemporary life and circumstances is a non runner. Our Constitution is modern and young when compared to that of the United States or indeed France and yet they do not see any need to abandon theirs. We suffer from an inferiority complex that we need to get over.
Reducing the indebtedness of mortgage holders as enunciated by Matt Cooper will not reduce our international indebtedness. These debts have to be repaid. Along with his colleagues in the documentary Richard Curran made some interesting points. Indeed they all made some worthwhile points but still never dealt with the core underlying issue ‘We have no money’. 
To quote ‘Colm McCarthy’  “The government is not without compassion, it is broke, the country is broke” but, in my opinion not insolvent The debt we have is of our making and ours alone.
The road to recovery will take many interconnecting paths to the main highway of recovery. All will bring their own challenges.
Perhaps a major start could be made with the reform of the Dáil. The President would be the CEO of the executive and would amongst other functions choose the members to serve on the executive. These would preferably come from the world of business, academia and the sciences. TD’s would continue to be elected by the people and do what they should be doing in the first place and that is legislating for the good of the country and not as currently practiced. Meaningful reform of local government is needed and more immediate response from government departments with less red tape and bureaucracy.
Democracy comes in many guises and is always amenable to responsible change. Discussion on the way forward has begun. As a people we have an onus to contribute.

Tom Flynn is a resident of Westport.